Click for full size and more comics!
Click for full size and more comics!
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If you’re anything like me you love comics. But, why do we love comics? Is it because they contain stories about fantastical heroes and beautiful damsels in distress? Or maybe it’s because we like to see villains nearly destroy everything we hold dearly, only to have someone thwart his plan? I don’t think so. I think that’s what draws us in, but what keeps us coming back is what comics have to say about our day to day lives. In a small, but effective way, comics are often a commentary on life: the need for a hero, the struggles of life, overcoming obstacles and winning the girl/guy/half-ogre that you have a secret crush on. And that’s just what Role Playing Saturdays does. It’s a larping comic that comments on issues within games, people and the culture itself. And since it’s called Role Playing Saturdays we thought it would be fitting to give you a special weekend treat and post it on Saturdays. We had a chance to shoot a few questions over to the creator, Stephen Hawkins, to find out a little about the his heart and mind for the comic.
Stephen Hawkins: RPS is a (usually) three-panel comic strips that follows the theatrical LARP called “Role-Play Saturdays” and the eccentric LARPing enthusiast called Hat. Through his wacky pursuits, Hat’s primary goal is to roleplay in a LARP setting unimpeded, though it is regularly interrupted by a growing cast of eccentric characters.
Stephen Hawkins: RPS started as a series of sketched ideas in a sketchbook. Through years of searching for a webcomic that could speak for the LARPing community like Penny Arcade did for the video gaming community, I got more and more frustrated that there wasn’t something out there that made jokes about the annoying peccadilloes, colorful personalities, and simple joy that can be found in this beautiful past time. I have said a few times that I honestly wish someone more talented was making a comic to fill this role, but living in a world without it filled at all was just getting unbearable.
Stephen Hawkins: Well, there is a bit of a story going on, though it’s not the main focus. So far, the main story line is moved by the secondary character, God the Ferret. I often consider renaming him, but I like the idea that Hat presumes his pet ferret with godlike abilities is probably a good guy. Odd circumstances surround Hat and his buddies, often seemingly connected to God the Ferret. Lines being drawn, though few seem to notice. I don’t know if I’ll ever even culminate it, it’s just more interesting to write the comic for me if the characters are in a persistent world.
Stephen Hawkins: Most of the issues I cover refer to the odd quirks I have personally seen in LARPing communities over the decade I have been LARPing. I have been a part of quite a few of these communities.
|Most involving Troy will relate to issues of “power gaming”.|
|Similarly, Cale is my pet “rules lawyer”.|
|I often try to use characters like them to explain why a ST may have to make a call someone doesn’t like, like in this one.|
Stephen Hawkins: Unfortunately I haven’t gotten a large amount of feedback from my reader base (they aren’t very huge anyways), so I don’t know much of which ones are liked the best. Although I got a bit of positive noise about the small story arc that begins: here and ends here.
Most comments I get are “lol, totally” which I love. I am definitely trying to have these circumstances be familiar.
Stephen Hawkins: As for my personal favorites, I like this one because of just how perfectly it encapsulates that character. It still feels pretty funny to me when I reread it. I am pretty fond of this one because it just has so much in it, from fun drawing, visual gags, genre savvy characters, background gags and exploration of frustrations LARPers can experience. I am a fan of “clusterfuck” jokes (“train wreck” jokes if you will) where a lot of stuff seems to be going on at once.
Stephen Hawkins: Throughout everything it takes to make this comic, though, I genuinely love making RPS. It’s fun to write the characters, I am often surprised by my own jokes, and… well, sometimes something needs to be said, for the good of the community.
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LARPing.org would like to devote a weekly blog to celebrate what LARP has done for you. If you have a story about how LARP has enriched your or a friend’s life, please email email@example.com.
For many of us, LARPing is more than just a hobby. LARP is where we meet our friends, where we get our exercise, where we learn new skills, and lets face it, where we spend most of our discretionary income.
That is why couples who meet LARPing have such strong bonds. Not only do we share experiences your average couple could never dream of (have normal couples ever stared death in the face as they fight an evil necromancer, hell-bent on destroying everything they love?), you’ll also never find yourself explaining why you spent your paycheck on yet another sword (it’s just so pretty!), or why Date Night is actually last-minute-crafting-for-the-weekend night. After all, if they can handle you as your mind-flaying, tentacle-swinging NPC, they deserve you at your best.
Us on a date with a non-LARPer.
But best of all, LARP is something you share away from the stress of work and real life problems. It’s both mentally and physically challenging and ensures you will put time aside each month to spend together, overcoming challenges, having new experiences. What better way to keep the passion than a healthy arch-rivalry between PCs, or maybe a dramatic sacrifice on the battlefield? LARP is the kind of thing you will do until before you know it, you’ve grown old together. Trust us, we know plenty of people whose parents met LARPing, some with kids of their own! (Time to start crafting your grandchild’s first Orc costume!)
We wanted to take a blog to celebrate all the happy LARP couples out there, specifically this adorable couple that got engaged this weekend at Seventh Kingdom, the LARP they met at in New Jersey.
We already loved Nana Walls for promoting LARP with her blog, so now we are even more excited to wish her and her new fiancé a long and happy life full of love and LARPing.
You can read their happily-ever-after story here.